Excellent Teaching

How to Get Students Excited About Learning

When I introduce students to the water cycle, I give them a bottle of water labeled “dinosaur pee.” I invite them to, “Drink up, me hearties!” I ask them if they believe me that there is dinosaur pee in the bottle. Some do, some don’t. I then explain that because

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I'm sharing 11 things every teacher should do this summer to help it be a recharge, refresh, and also effective preparation for the year to come.

11 Things Every Teacher Should Do This Summer

Summer…ahhhh…the time most teachers catch up on doctor’s appointments, shopping, and all the myriad errands and chores that go by the wayside during the hectic school year. I’m sharing 11 things every teacher should do this summer to help it be a recharge, refresh, and also effective preparation for the

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Differentiation Intervention: A Case Study

I received an email about a differentiation issue, and decided it was worth doing an entire case study on the problem this parent is facing. I’ve crowdsourced it with some awesome teachers from the Bullitt County School District in Kentucky (near beautiful Louisville). We sat down one afternoon and hashed

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Interacting with Defiant Students

  Got defiance? Handling defiant students (or personal children) can be one of the most difficult aspects of teaching, particularly when we don’t feel supported by others on the support team. Having a large toolbox of strategies and ideas can help. I’m sharing the ideas I’ve gathered over time from

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gifted - the-movie

Must See Movie: Gifted

Why you must see Gifted. Gifted does for gifted what Love Story did for Harvard: everyone will want to go there. It is the best onscreen fictional treatment of gifted ever. In history. In the universe. It is a must-see for anyone who cares about gifted kids, doesn’t really understand giftedness, is parenting a

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dot-to-dot-featured image

Dot-to-Dot Free Samples and Resources

I’m sharing where to find dot-to-dot free samples (and other ideas) today because I love dot-to-dot. Why I love dot-to-dot It’s fun. I like fun stuff. It is great fine motor skill practice. This is more critical for academic success than I think we give it credit for. It allows

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21 Ideas for Teaching Vocabulary

I’m sharing 21 ideas for teaching vocabulary. You may not be able to use all of them, but I hope you can find some ideas that will work well for you! I’ve shared books about vocabulary instruction, as well as the theory and techniques. This post is a lot more practical. We’re

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Strategies for teaching vocabulary - the books

Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary: The Books

Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary Strategies for teaching vocabulary are a critical part of every teacher’s toolkit, yet searching for them is a little bit of an Alice in Wonderland experience – down the rabbit hole you go. Responding to a question I got in an email (shout out to blog post

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How to get students to pay attention to their work

One of the most difficult things for teachers working with high ability students is to get them to pay attention to the work they’re doing. Many extremely able students get lower grades than they otherwise would because they fail to pay attention to the little details. You know what I

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boy on motorcycle

Early Finishers: 9 Ideas for Students

Students who are early finishers can struggle with boredom, frustration, and staying, you know, nice. This is because they sit and wait. Lather, rinse, repeat. Last week I wrote about best practices for teachers with regard to early finishers, and today I’m focusing on the students (just in case their

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